Every artisan loves to show off their craft and we are no exception.
We must do a good job at it because we are frequently asked to demonstrate at various cultural events. This month we were the artisans in residence (for one day) at the McMillan Art Gallery. Here we are carding and spinning and weaving.These demonstrations are a way to connect with people who have similar interests. These folks may have a latent desire to play with fiber so that they join our group. We always have at least one attendee who has a loom or a wheel or had a loom or a wheel or whose mother had a loom or a wheel.
We also get comments on our work. Every artisan needs to know that their work stimulated a response in someone. Often that response is surprise, surprise that someone could create yarn from a wide variety of fibers, surpise that someone could create cloth so fine and luxurious. An opportunity to discuss our work with an interested party is not to be turned down.

These events are also an opportunity to link the modern with the past. The process of turning fiber into cloth is an important part of our social history. It became an allegory for life itself and is immortalized in poems. It also impacted on language. Think of the word spinster and the connotation attached to it. It also has it’s dark side as did so many cottage processes during the industrial revolution.
In our modern world of specialization and global interconnections we often have a disconnect between the products that we use and how they were created. Hopefully our demonstrations help people to understand the basic processes involving in creating cloth from a fiber source.
Our demonstrations always attract children. This time we introduced 3 “master weavers” (ages 4, 5 and 6 years) to the art of making cloth. They enthusiastically whacked the beater against the fell of the cloth and moved the shuttle with the weft back and forth through the shed. This is the cloth that they made.

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